This gigantic legendary heirloom from Logan, West Virginia, developed by M.C. 'Charlie' Byles in the 1930's, is huge, sweet, juicy, delicious and prolific, with splendid old-timey tomato flavor. The meaty pink-red fruits weigh at least a pound, averaging 2½ lbs. and reaching up to 4 lbs. A very prolific plant which continues to bear fruit in high heat and right up until frost, it also keeps very well. Indeterminate. Matures 80 days from transplant. Packet contains at least 30 seeds.
Marshall Cletis Byles, who much preferred to go by M.C. or just Charlie, owned a garage specializing in radiator repair. He developed Mortgage Lifter over a six year period by crossing German Johnson, Beefsteak and 2 other unknown varieties, all chosen for their huge size and grand flavor. He sold the resulting plants for a dollar each (in the 40's), and was able to pay off his $5,000 house mortgage in only 6 years with the profit from his plant sales. "I didn't pay but six thousand dollars for my home, and paid most of it off with tomato plants," said Charlie in a tape recorded interview with his grandson, which aired on National Public Radio. Charlie's repair shop was at the bottom of a steep hill so travelers whose radiators over-heated during the climb had to coast back down to Radiator Charlie's for repair. Other folks heard about these huge, luscious tomatoes and came from hundreds of miles to buy the plant. Charlie Byles lived to be 97 years old.